Screw calm and run! – Zombie Race, 2012

Three weeks after running The Color Run in Montreal, Kristen, Nicola and I ran The Zombie Race in Milton.

Danger Zombies Run

I bought this Zombie gum at Freak Lunchbox in St. John’s. Seemed fitting for our Zombie Race.

This was the end of my “three weeks later” stretch (I went to Vegas, three weeks later I ran the Disneyland half, three weeks later I ran the Montreal half, three weeks later I ran The Color Run in Montreal, which brings us to three weeks after that when I ran The Zombie Race). My “three weeks later” stretch wasn’t planned and just one of those things that kind of happens that way I guess.

Zombie races seemed to be another thing that was big in 2012. In case you don’t know what a zombie race is, basically it’s a race with obstacle courses and you wear coloured flags on a belt. People dressed as zombies chase you and try to take the flags (which are your lives) off of your belt. If you complete the race and still have some flags, you survived. If you don’t have any flags, you were infected.

This zombie race took place at Glen Eden in Kelso Conservation Area in Milton. What I liked about this race is that it is 100% Canadian (not part of the bigger zombie races from the US) and it took place the weekend before Halloween. We soon learned that one of the problems with having a race the weekend before Halloween is the weather.

Dan wasn’t interested in the run, so he drove me, Nicola and Kristen to Glen Eden and he planned to be our photographer and cheer for us (or just make fun of us). As we drove out it started raining and by the time we got to Glen Eden it was pouring. Think torrential downpour. We had brought rain gear, but nothing to prepare us for this type of weather.

Hiding out in the car while it pours rain outside

Kristen, Nicola and I hiding out in the car while it pours rain (you can see it on the windshield).

One thing that I didn’t like about the race to start was that they didn’t tell us on the website or in any of their communication with us that we had to pay for parking. Paying for parking wasn’t a big deal (I think it was $5 or $10), especially since we car pooled, but it would have been nice to know ahead of time. What if we hadn’t had cash with us?

We picked up our race kits and then hid in one of the office buildings at Glen Eden. I wondered if the race was going to be cancelled. As it got closer to race time the rain slowed. It was still raining but not as hard as before and it seemed more manageable. The race was a delayed a little because of the rain. I felt bad for the organizers who had to scramble to change the route (some areas were flooded out) and salvage what obstacles they could (there ended up being only two obstacles that didn’t get damaged and they had to cut a kilometre out of the route, so it was closer to 4k). A lot of the people who had volunteered to participate as zombies also didn’t show up. So the race organizers had a lot working against them.

Soon it was time to start the race, so we lined up in the cage with everybody else.

Nicola, Kristen and Mei in the starting cage

Nicola, Kristen and I in the starting cage.

They had some fun warm ups in the starting cage and tried to get us to dance to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me Maybe.” If you danced well enough they would give you an extra life (flag). Apparently none of us danced well enough to earn one so we just had two each (you could also buy extra lives but we didn’t bother. Isn’t it more challenging to work with what you’ve got?).

The race started with a run up a hill. I hate hills.

HIll at the start of the race

This was the hill at the start of the race. There were a lot of hills on the course (usually used for skiing).

As we ran through the course zombies tried to grab our flags. I was very impressed with some of the zombies who really got into character. There was one zombie girl who was crouched in the bushes and crawled out slowly to try to grab you. Because there were so few zombies, some of the zombies were already getting tired as we ran by. One of them even said “so tired!”

We held onto our lives for most of the race. The first obstacle we had to get through was a cargo net climb. There was a kid dressed up as a zombie who was really good at chasing people. He was fast and really in character and I was actually a little bit afraid of him. We cleared the net and then headed into the next obstacle, the maze. This is where we lost all of our lives. The maze was narrow and slippery and when we reached a zombie heavy section Kristen slipped and fell and then I slipped and almost fell too. The zombies took advantage of us while we were weak and took our lives.

Kristen covered in mud after falling in the maze

Kristen shows off the mud from her fall in the maze. As we were running through the course people would see her and say “Wow! What happened?!”

After that, whenever I ran through a pack of zombies I would just put my arms out and yell “Brains! Brains!” and they’d say “She’s one of us!” Most of the zombies also complimented me on my sparkly purple headband. These zombies clearly had good taste.

Running through a pack of zombies

Even though we didn’t have lives left it was still fun to run through the zombies and make them chase us.

Mei running

I’m smiling because I have no lives left so I can enjoy running with the zombies. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em right? (Source: The Zombie Race Facebook page)

We finished the race cold, wet and tired.

Nicola, Mei and Kristen after the race.

Cold, wet and tired. Nicola, me and Kristen look grumpy (and infected by zombies) after the race.

But we still had a good time.

Nicola, Kristen and Mei

We had a good time, even though we were infected by zombies.

Little did I know, Arlene and Jason also ran The Zombie Race that day. Maybe we even crossed paths, not realizing that we’d all train for and run a marathon together the following year.

Jason the zombie

I didn’t know at the time that this zombie would become my marathon clinic instructor. If I had known I might have been scared (thankfully he didn’t look like a zombie when we trained). Source: The Zombie Race Facebook page

After the race, Nicola called her dad and said “They got us dad! The zombies got us!”

Kristen, Mei and Nicola in their matching race shirts.

Kristen, me and Nicola in our race shirts (Keep Calm and Carry On is scribbled out in red. Instead it says Screw Calm and Run!). We wore them to lunch at Lonestar and the waiter asked us “Are you three wearing the same shirt?”

We still had fun though. Here’s a picture of my zombie medal. People who “survived” the race received red medals.

close up of the zombie race medal

Close up of the zombie race medal. We worked hard for this one.

Daisy and the zombie race medal

Even Daisy wanted to wear my hard earned zombie race medal.

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